The Potluck

Minnesota sees first death from COVID-19

By: - March 21, 2020 10:15 am

The virus hasn’t just attacked cells. It’s attacked brains with conspiracy theories, too (Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab)

A Ramsey County resident in their 80s is the first known person with COVID-19 to have died in Minnesota, the Department of Health reported Saturday.

The person died on March 19 and had contact with a family member who had previously tested positive and had a history of international travel.

“Gwen and I extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones during this time of loss,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement. “As COVID-19 continues to spread in Minnesota, we must all do what we can to keep each other safe.”

The person who died first experienced symptoms on March 13 and was hospitalized on March 16, dying three days later.

Minnesota has 137 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday, up from 115 confirmed cases on Friday. Approximately 4,090 people have been tested.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm encouraged all Minnesotans to slow the spread of the virus by staying home when possible and limiting contact with people most at risk, those over 65 years old and those with underlying health conditions.


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Max Nesterak
Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.